Occupation Profile

(SOC Code : 51-4041)
in California

Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Include precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.

Employers usually expect an employee in this occupation to be able to do the job after Long-term on-the-job training (> 12 months) .

Occupational Wages[Top]
AreaYearPeriodHourly MeanHourly by Percentile
California 20181st Qtr$22.61$16.04$21.35$28.18

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Occupational Projections of Employment (also called "Outlook" or "Demand")[Top]
 AreaEstimated Year-Projected YearEmploymentEmployment ChangeAnnual Avg Openings
California 2016 - 202635,50037,0001,5004.23,770

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Job Openings from JobCentral National Labor Exchange[Top]
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Industries Employing This Occupation (click on Industry Title to View Employers List)[Top]
Industry Title
Number of Employers in State of California
Percent of Total
Employment for Occupation in State of California
Machine Shops and Threaded Products 3,41431.7%
Aerospace Product & Parts Manufacturing 2557.3%
Employment Services 5,1315.6%
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing 5824.7%
Semiconductor and Electronic Components 1,5523.1%
Other Fabricated Metal Product Mfg 1,0523.0%
Other General Purpose Machinery Mfg 1,1492.7%
Electronic Instrument Manufacturing 1,0182.5%
Medical Equipment and Supplies Mfg 2,4442.1%
Industrial Machinery Manufacturing 3011.9%
Architectural and Structural Metals 1,7431.9%
Plastics & Rubber Products Manufacturing1,3311.6%
Scientific Research and Development Svc 7,3091.6%
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Mfg 1,1431.4%
Machinery & Supply Merchant Wholesalers 7,3481.4%
Primary Metal Manufacturing 5911.3%
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 7,1451.2%
Electrical Equipment and Appliances 1,0461.2%
Commercial Machinery Repair/Maintenance 2,8601.0%

About Staffing Patterns

Training Programs (click on title for more information)[Top]
Program Title
Machine Shop Technology/Assistant
Machine Tool Technology/Machinist

About Training & Apprenticeships

About This Occupation (from O*NET - The Occupation Information Network)[Top]
Top Tasks (Specific duties and responsibilities of this job.)
Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.
Align and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, or materials onto machines.
Measure, examine, or test completed units to check for defects and ensure conformance to specifications, using precision instruments, such as micrometers.
Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
Maintain machine tools in proper operational condition.
Study sample parts, blueprints, drawings, or engineering information to determine methods or sequences of operations needed to fabricate products.
Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.
Check work pieces to ensure that they are properly lubricated or cooled.

More Tasks for Machinists

Top Skills used in this Job
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others` actions.
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Equipment Selection - Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

More Skills for Machinists

Data for Abilities not available.

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Top Work Values (Aspects of this job that create satisfaction.)
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

More Work Values for Machinists

Top Interests (The types of activities someone in this job would like.)
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

More Interests for Machinists

Alternate Titles
Precision Machine Operators; Production Machinists; Tool and Die Machinists; Utility Operators
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